Barnsley: Flitcroft slams ‘criminal’ schedule

A disapointed Reds boss David Flitcroft, left, with Martin Cranie
A disapointed Reds boss David Flitcroft, left, with Martin Cranie
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BARNSLEY boss David Flitcroft has criticised the “criminal” Easter fixture schedule in the Championship following their defeat at relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

The Reds, who dropped back into the bottom three after losing 2-1 at Hillsborough, host seventh-placed Leicester City this afternoon seeking a third successive home win in their battle to avoid the drop. It is Barnsley’s second match in three days while the Foxes have had an extra day off to rest and recuperate, having played Millwall in a televised game on Friday night.

“It would have been nice when the fixtures were arranged if it had been a Friday and a Monday for both ourselves and Leicester so we both have the exact same recovery time,” said Flitcroft, who was disappointed with the two second-half goals they conceded against Wednesday.

“From a medical point of view, I don’t know who the Football Association listen to but it [playing twice in three days] should not happen. You have got the risk of injury, fatigue and exhaustion. Playing so close together on a Saturday and a Monday is criminal. We will cope with it and the mental side will be massive now.”

He added: “It [the fixtures] certainly gives them [Leicester] an advantage. It is not one I will moan about. Whoever set the games up should have maybe thought about both teams as opposed to giving Leicester a TV game and us having to play on a Saturday. But it is set and stone and we are going to have just negotiate it.”

Striker Chris O’Grady, on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, is in contention to return to the starting line-up, having been unable to feature against his parent club. Midfielder Stephen Dawson could also be recalled.

Leicester, managed by Nigel Pearson, have triumphed just once in their last 10 outings and will be without Wes Morgan after the defender’s red card versus Millwall.